Of roughfish and redemption

If killing a Carp is a mortal sin, I’m doomed to a subterranean afterlife being liquefied in the earth’s molten inner core. Part of my adolescent angling experience included the creative demise of many a rough-fish species, including Carp. We would use them as softballs, impale them with projectiles, and blow them up with powerful waterproof explosives. First, however, we had to catch them, for their reputation as a hard fighting fish was not lost upon us. Fast forward a quarter century later, I’m a docile fly fisherman with the sadistic sins of my youth all but forgotten. That is until my friend, Carp fishing specialist Jeff Kaphingst suggested we fly fish for big scaled immigrants in Minneapolis Minnesota’s Lake Harriet. Jeff and friends have spent countless hours fishing this inner city lake and have developed an ingenious fly that emulates a kernel of corn, high on the list of favorite Carp baits. I slowly walked Lake Harriet’s shore with fly rod in one hand a corn fly in another searching for a hungry Carp. After a short time, I spotted one feeding in the submerged weeds on some naturally occurring aquatic corn. Actually, if the truth be told, Jeff and friends routinely chum in order to attract more fish. Here in lies the beauty of this style of fishing, anything goes. Anyway, I cast my corn fly in the direction of the feeding Carp and with no hesitation; it turned and inhaled the fly. The Carps’ explosive initial run lived up to all expectations; the explosion that occurred in the tip section of my fly rod did not. A crowd gathered to watch me battle the big fish with my newly created seven foot fly rod. Prior to the hook-up, this same crowd of exercise enthusiasts went out or their way to avoid us. The spectators cheered as we landed, weighed, and took photos of our temporary captive. After that, we unceremoniously returned the carp back into the lake without subjecting it to any unpleasantries. Not only have I mellowed in my old age, but I’m sure any of the aforementioned atrocities would not have impressed this particular group of onlookers. In closing, Carp provide a challenging but economical way to test your fly fishing skills. They’re found practically everywhere, require a minimal amount of gear, and competition from fellow anglers is nonexistent. What’s done with them post capture and the resulting eternal consequences is entirely up to you.